Engnology

Reflections of Blending English and Technology in the Classroom

Connecting Students through Video Project

with 2 comments

Every year I teach “The Lady or the Tiger” by Stockton. I use this piece as part of my short story unit; the ending leaves the final decision up to the reader. This ambiguity provides the perfect opportunity to teach narrator and voice. I have the students write their own endings blending their imagination with elevated vocabulary and a consistent voice that parallels the piece. Last year I took this lesson a step further with the new laptops our students now used in all classrooms. After the endings were written, they broke into small groups and selected one to create as a silent video. They could only use music, sound effects, and text. Their actions and minimal words had to convey the intent to the audience.

This year we did the same reading and project but with a slight twist. We partnered with a Van Meter freshman class who was also reading the same story. I still had the kids write their endings, form small groups and select one, but instead of creating a video from their own writing they exchanged with their counter group in Van Meter. They students were excited about the collaboration and it showed in their stellar projects. Finally, a Voice Thread was created to share final projects between the two schools. Voice Thread allows the students to leave comments in various forms and it was quite simple to upload multiple videos.

Students this year were more conscious about their writing knowing that it was going to be read by and performed by people outside of their own school. They also enjoyed the ideas that emerged from the other students, had fun collaborating and creating a final projects, and were anxious to see how the other students interpreted their writing.

Although it took a little extra time for Shawn Hyer and I to develop this lesson, the benefits were great, the students were excited and engaged, and this story will forever be something they remember because of the interaction they had with the piece.

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Written by sfarnsworth

September 23, 2010 at 6:40 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Great way to get students connected and to make the learning meaningful for them. Not only did they do creative work, but they collaborated with others students and built realationship through their work. Nice work.

    Mike Richman

    September 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm

  2. Nice, I’ve always wanted to do something similar to what you have done with your students about collaborating with another school and forming a new kind of relationship through school work, would be fun, joyful and entertaining, and most importantly… educational, to learn from one another who said this, who wrote that, seeing other people’s imaginations read by others and it would really stick to their heads and tell their kids one day what they did the teacher do for them :).

    MIDDLE SON

    September 24, 2010 at 5:39 pm


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